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Rotel’s Michi Series 2 Features More Power & Upgraded DACs: AXPONA 2023

Did Rotel fix what was never broken to begin with? Three new Michi Series 2 components deliver more power, upgraded DACs and even better parts quality.

Rotel Michi X3 and X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifiers Front

One of my favorite integrated amplifiers of the past decade was the Rotel Michi X3; very much like the Croft Phono Integrated that has been the one constant on my desktop for almost 6 years — it lets the music flow through. With almost endless reserves of power behind it. The Croft is far more limited in that regard and I use it with loudspeakers that are easier to drive. 

That was one of the most obvious things about the Michi X3; it flipped off every loudspeaker I placed in its path as if they were a mere nuisance. 

Magnepan LRSQ Acoustics 3050iQ Acoustics 3030iPSB Synchrony B600Polk Audio L100, and Wharfedale EVO 4.4’s barely got in the way.

What makes a component truly great? One would hope that a very high level of circuit design plays a big part in the overall result but that often gets confused with industrial design and features; as we’ve learned from the home theater category that is rife with components that offer features that consumers never use, and high-end audio components with 3-inch-thick faceplates for no apparent reason. 

Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier Lifestyle 2
Rotel Michi X3 (Series 1)

If you think adding over 100 pounds of metal to a component makes it sonically worthwhile and justifies some exorbitant price tag – you’ve drank one too many glasses of the Kool-Aid. The Rotel Michi X3 Integrated Amplifier (see our video commentary) proved that one can build a superior sounding component that pushes the envelope without bordering on design overkill or price stupidity. 

For more information read our review of the Rotel Michi X3.

Farewell Michi X3? Good morning Michi X3 Series 2.

Am I the only one who feels this new version came out really quickly?

Rotel has announced the launch of three new Michi S2 Series 2 models

  • Michi X3 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier
  • Michi X5 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier
  • Michi P5 Series 2 Stereo Preamplifier

These latest models demonstrate the brand’s ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional value with ultra-high performance, and all three showcase Michi’s meticulously crafted, exquisite industrial design.  

The three new Series 2 models boast Michi’s exclusive multi-award winning acoustic engineering design methods and collectively feature over 320 component upgrades. All models have been updated utilizing 8-channel ESS SABRE ES9028PRO 32-bit 768kHz Digital to Analog converters. 

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Power supplies and audio circuitry (see internal photos below) have been reengineered and refined to render music with increased precision and detail on an immersive sound stage. Optimized signal paths, and lower-noise circuitry present music against a dead quiet background with vanishingly low distortion. 

Rotel Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Front with Remote Control
Rotel Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier

The Michi X3 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier delivers an unparalleled listening experience, showcasing over 90 component upgrades delivering exceptional accuracy, refinement, and detail on an expansive soundstage.

The size-efficient, elegant industrial design delivers 350 watts of output power into 4 ohms from analog, digital, PC-USB (MQA, PCM, DSD), XLR, and wireless aptX HD Bluetooth sources. A moving magnet phono stage is also included for those who prefer something like the excellent Ortofon 2M Series or Grado Timbre Opus3.

Rotel Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Front with Remote Control
Rotel Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier

The Michi X5 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier is authoritative and precise driving an enviable 600 watts of Class AB output into 4 ohms powered by dual in-house manufactured oversized, shielded, low-noise toroidal transformers. This amplifier features over 95 component changes resulting in ultra-revealing music with breathtaking accuracy.  

A wide array of source inputs is supported including analog, coaxial, optical, XLR Balanced, aptX HD Wireless Bluetooth, PC-USB supporting MQA hardware decoding (24-bit 384kHz), PCM (32-bit 384kHz), and DSD 4X.  A selectable moving magnet and moving coil phono stage input is included for vinyl fans.  

Rotel Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier
Rotel Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier

The Michi P5 Series 2 Preamplifier has been updated and refined with over 125 component upgrades rendering digital music through dual 8-channel ESS SABRE DACs specially adapted to MONO mode extracting an unprecedented level of musical detail. Dual toroidal transformers isolate digital and analog power supply feeds further reduce noise and distortion levels with exacting positioning and accuracy.  

Supported source inputs include analog, digital, and PC-USB with hardware MQA decoding (24-bit 384kHz), PCM (32-bit 384kHz) and DSD 4X. Wireless Bluetooth supporting aptX HD Bluetooth and a moving magnet and moving coil phono stage sources are also included.

Rotel Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier Rear
Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier
Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Rear
Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier
Rotel Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Rear
Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier

“We are thrilled and extremely proud to introduce the Series 2 models of our Michi X3, X5, and P5 models,” says Daren Orth, Rotel’s Chief Technology Officer. Orth continues, “These new products are the pinnacle of Michi audio engineering designed to deliver an even higher level of performance representing our passion to innovate, elevate and improve.”

Price & Availability

The new models are available beginning in April 2023 at the following prices:

  • X3 Series 2 – $5,799 / €7,000   
  • X5 Series 2 $7,999 / €9,000
  • P5 Series 2 – $4,599 / €5,500

Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier Internal
Michi P5 S2 Series 2 Preamplifier
Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Internal
Michi X3 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier
Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier Internal
Michi X5 S2 Series 2 Integrated Amplifier
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. ORT

    April 17, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    From my absolute 2nd favourite film of all time:
    “Quo Vadis”(1951).

    “Behold, she stands

    with her gown hung loose.

    Framed is her face in golden tresses…

    …reflecting the milk-white beauty

    of her shoulders.

    So it was that Venus stood before Mars,

    welcoming her lover.

    Nothing do I see that is not perfection.”

    Well…Perfection, in this instance, is missing but a pair of VU Meters.

    I would say more but…I fear that a natural humility often blinds me. 😉

    This Rotel Michi Series 2 is quite fetching even sans that which it should naturally have come with. Pity they chose to hobble it with MQA versus enhancing it with VU Meters…

    Gaius PetrORTnious

  2. DWS

    April 25, 2023 at 6:56 am

    VU Meters can be selected on the display

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